Ross County are involved in a fight for sixth place with four other teams all within two points of each other. Hamilton Accies win last night pushed them to the top of this mini-league, but despite a run of form which has seen County without a win in over two months, a win over the Champions tonight would see the Highlanders climb into the top half of the table.
Their best chance of getting a result like this surely lies between the ears of the Celtic players. Over the last eight days Celtic have twice played to packed out crowds in Champions League and League Cup semi-final encounters. Victoria Park, Dingwall, will provide nothing like the same intensity. How Brendan Rodgers sharpens his players wits for what will be a cup final for the hosts, will be a significant challenge.
County are one of only three clubs in the league who have not beaten any of the table’s top half teams (bottom club, Dundee, and ‘
The Rangers are coming’ ‘ Going for 55’ ‘Narrowing the gap’ Newco are the other two). This type of statistic is often interpreted as a negative, but beating the teams at the bottom of the league is a critical objective of any team who want to survive.
Ross County are not having a great season, but they have achieved the most important things and can play with the pressure off tonight. It’s a result I’d not put money on.
While the Celtic engine rolls on, Aberdeen’s stalled at Hamilton last night, albeit to a soft-looking penalty. If we win our games in hand we’ll have an eight point advantage over Hearts and 10 over Aberdeen., which is a remarkable lead so early in the season, especially as we are the only team distracted by European competition.
One issue on team selection: 72 hours from now we’ll be underway at Pittodrie. While we need to pick a team to win tonight’s game, players are not machines. This should be a night for Griffiths, Armstrong, Roberts, McGregor, Izaguirre and Gamboa to start.